Candle Flames in Microgravity Video
This video of a candle flame burning in space was taken by the Candle Flames in Microgravity (CFM) experiment on the Russian Mir space station. It is actually a composite of still photos from a 35mm camera since the video images were too dim. The images show a hemispherically shaped flame, primarily blue in color, with some yellow early int the flame lifetime. The actual flame is quite dim and difficult to see with the naked eye. Nearly 80 candles were burned in this experiment aboard Mir. NASA scientists have also studied how flames spread in space and how to detect fire in microgravity. Researchers hope that what they learn about fire and combustion from the flame ball experiments will help out here on Earth. Their research could help create things such as better engines for cars and airplanes. Since they use very weak flames, flame balls require little fuel. By studying how this works, engineers may be able to design engines that use far less fuel. In addition, microgravity flame research is an important step in creating new safety precautions for astronauts living in space. By understanding how fire works in space, the astronauts can be better prepared to fight it.
Producer NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center